Palestinian Fatah closes all its offices in Gaza ‘in anticipation of attack’
The spokesperson of Palestinian Fatah faction in Hamas-run Gaza Strip, Atef Abu Saif said that Fatah decided to close all its offices in Gaza “In anticipation of any attacks on them until further notice.”
On Friday evening, armed men raided the headquarters of Palestinian Authority media , causing damage to equipment.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack on the media offices, but Palestinian officials blamed Hamas for what happened.
“Hamas is deeply involved in this conspiracy,” said Ahmed Assaf, chairman of the Palestininan Broadcast Corporation (PBC), speaking to the channel in the West Bank city of Ramallah, according to Reuters.
The PBC issued a statement saying the attack was a “clear reflection of the mentality of the Hamas movement and criminal gangs who believe only in their voice, and who seek to suppress freedoms”.
Neither Assaf nor the PBC offered any evidence for their accusations, and Hamas officials swiftly condemned the incident.
“What happened is rejected, and we condemn it,” Eyad Al-Bozom said in a statement issued by the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza. He urged the station’s officials to cooperate with investigators.
It is noteworthy that PBC stopped working completely in the Gaza Strip following the Hamas takeover of Gaza in the summer of 2007, but resumed work partially in 2011. Around 500 radio and television employees work in Gaza Strip.
There has long been antipathy between Hamas, which won the last Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006 and is opposed to any peace negotiations with Israel, and with Abbas’s more moderate and secular Fatah faction.
The two Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas have failed to end the divisions since 2007.
Egypt has brokered a Palestinian reconciliation pact that provides for Hamas to cede control of Gaza to Abbas, but a dispute over power-sharing has hindered implementation of the deal.